So I rode Sunny on my own today and remembered to actually ride him instead of just sitting there! Wooo big round of applause for me! Warming up we recapped on the last ride, so left bend and no drifting. He's getting much better at left bend and didn't even offer to drift in so this is a bonus. We did a nice walk, trot, canter on BOTH reins (not commenting about getting right lead canter because it's happened for the last 5 rides so I feel like it may be becoming a thing we do now). Then did more work on using my leg to put him where I want him. We even had some nice lateral work going on moving to the right. He did it a couple of times to the left but mostly to the right. Then for a cool down I had him working on long and low to stretch out which he was really good about.
All in all I can't fault him, it was a fab ride and just another big, whack-on-the-head reminder that I need to actually RIDE my horse even if nobody is there telling me to.
We've had 2 rides this week, first one was Tuesday, I rode on my own. The ride was good on his part, mediocre on mine. I need to remember when I'm on my own to actually focus and ride instead of just throwing things at him and expecting him to know what I want. So I had a little word with myself and sorted it out but I do need to work on that. He was a good boy though.
On Thursday Lottie came to give me another lesson and it was fab! She helps me to pick areas to focus on and stick with them rather than just muddling through my rides. Our focus for this ride was Sunny's tendency to drift inwards during a ride and the fact that I don't really do anything effective to stop that. So I worked on using my inside leg and pushing him out as soon as I felt him start to drift rather than letting him get all the way in then having to completely re-divert him out. By the end he was doing fab and was only occasionally trying to drift which was easy to fix. Obviously it will need more work to keep it up and convince him that it's really easier to do what I ask the first time but I genuinely feel he'll get there soon.
We also did some work on left bend which is coming along really nicely along with some lovely canter work. All in all a brill lesson, even if my legs were wobbly when I dismounted!
I have no photos from recent rides so have some photos of Sunny just...being Sunny.
I see dat feed bucket you has dere
I lead myself, I no need you
P.s. Ronald is fine and happy being fat and fluffy, he's just not as into posing as Sunny!
^^^That's not a thing. But it should be. And I should do it. Because my calves suck.
I rode Sunny yesterday and it came to my attention (ahaha as if I didn't know) that my legs are not strong enough, I can't give Sunny enough support to actually ask for him to bend around me so I really need to work on that. We did however have some really good effort at bend, some beautiful trot work and some actually very nice canter work. Overall I was pleased but I really do need to spend some time in two point to work on those calf muscles.
Over the last couple of weeks I've had a couple of very productive days, I've sorted through my rugs to make sure they're all ready for winter, had a clear up in the feed room and got rid of all the broken, unusable jump pieces. We've also recently replaced all the rope on the fencing so it's all fresh ready for winter.
I've kind of let this blog slip to the wayside the last couple of weeks but I'm going to try and get back on track now. I've ridden Sunny a couple of times since I last posted and yesterday I lunged him before work. He was pretty spooky coming in to get ready, but he was good as always on the lunge. We attempted right canter 6 times and successfully got it 6 times so that was super exciting! I have a couple of days off now so will hopefully get a ride or two in. This was just a little catch up post to say I'll try to do better at blogging again.
This post is way overdue, I don't even remember what date this happened but it was a couple of weeks ago.
Anyway, a friend at Lottie's yard has started a dressage training business and agreed to give me some lessons! So Sunny got kitted out in his fancy white (orange fly veil though because we needed one and don't have a white one) and got ready to get down to business. We started off by showing her where we were at and discussing problem areas (the halt and the right canter) while warming up, then moved on to working on the canter. Left lead was requested and promptly given a couple of times so we left that alone and turned to the right. I can honestly say we did not have any cantering on the wrong lead! Although he ran into it a couple of times and sort of fell into it he did in face canter on the right leg each time I asked. My biggest takeaway is that I need to actually hold him into his right canter and support him rather than just giving him all the rein like 'Here have everything please just canter'. Basically I need to ride him the same as I would to the left.
We also worked on asking him to lift himself into a higher, more advanced frame, which he was doing for the short periods I was asking. We didn't play with that too much because he doesn't yet have the muscle to maintain it.
Then she got on at the end but that didn't go well and I don't want to talk about it basically. We haven't done anything since he's just been sat in the field getting fat.
Today the vet came out to check his aneamia which has been sorted with the haemo supplements and on Thursday the physio is coming out to see him.
After Steve arrived on Thursday we didn't waste much time in putting him to good use and on Friday I took Sunny cross country schooling. It was his first outing since ulcer treatment and first time cross country schooling alone and he was honestly the most confident he's ever been cross country. He jumped everything I pointed him at and was choosing to canter the vast majority of the jumps. We had a couple of little tantrums but nothing like what he's thrown at me in the past. I was still a wuss and got nervous about them but all in all we had a really good time and I was super proud of him.
This may well be my favourite jumping photo of us ever.